Do you feel like your efforts on Instagram just aren’t enough? Maybe you’re posting frequently but your audience just isn’t growing, or worse; your followers are dropping like flies?
With over 1 Billion monthly users, the platform serves as a vast channel to promote your brand.
There are many services out there that offer to grow your Instagram for a set fee, or will outright offer you free Instagram followers, but many of these simply add fake followers to your account, or follow and unfollow hundreds of users at a time.
These tactics will negatively affect your overall engagement rate and could even get your account banned.
If you need to get real followers on Instagram, you’ve come to the right place.
So, why is it important to get real followers on Instagram?
It’s important to remember that followers aren’t the ONLY thing that matters. You don’t have to be the most popular person in the room.
That being said, while growth shouldn’t be your only measure of success, and you don’t need to have millions of followers, having a certain amount does offer distinctive benefits.
For instance, it helps with social proof.
Social proof in social media marketing is when people make assumptions about a business or individual, based on the acts of others. So in this scenario, social proof means that people are more likely to like your page or think positively about your business if you have a higher number of followers.
It also means you’ll have stronger organic reach, and won’t have to pay as much (or anything at all) to promote your content.
So, if you want to get real followers on Instagram and maximize your results on social media fast, keep reading. All you need to do to get free Instagram followers is to implement clever strategies and tactics for success.
How to get real followers on Instagram
Tactic #1: Optimize your page
This sounds quite basic, but you won’t be able to get real followers on Instagram (or any followers, for that matter) if no one can find your page.
Here’s an 8 step checklist to make sure your page can be easily discovered:
Your page has the same handle as your other social media accounts so that cross migration becomes easy
Your page is upgraded to a business profile
You clearly explain what your personal brand or business is
You include clear hashtags in your bio and tag any other relevant stakeholders
You have an updated image that; ideally, is a logo or a clear, bright product image
You outline exactly what you do, or sell
You are not trying to be elusive and mysterious. Some brands think this is a good idea. It isn’t unless you are an enormous global multinational corporation. Have an extremely niche audience and are a well-known brand with many loyalists (i.e. a boutique clothing designer with a long-standing, well-established brand and a cult following)
Create multiple lists of hashtags that are relevant to your audience. This will ensure you can narrow down which are your best performing hashtags. This will expand your reach and expose your content to new audiences, while also improving your engagement.
This business clearly outlines what its key products are in an engaging way.
Spread the Word!
You should also slap your Instagram handle on absolutely everything associated with your business.
If you haven’t already, add it to your email signature, website, business cards, printed documents and any other printed material like tote bags, stationery, or marketing collateral.
Include a call to action in your next email marketing campaign telling users to follow you on Instagram.
If you have a significant following on Facebook, create a dedicated post, urging users to follow you on Instagram.
Before you do, give them a reason why. If you have the exact same content being posted on both channels, why would they move over?
Creating a competition or unique content for Instagram will urge followers to migrate from other platforms and will mean you will get real followers on Instagram.
Tactic #2: Create badass, consistent content
The key way to get more followers on Instagram is to create badass content that has the potential to go viral.
Content should be at the heart of everything you do on social media, and if you don’t have great content, any follower growth you have won’t stick!
Creating content doesn’t have to be a chore. If you create your content using a content calendar the month prior, you can automate your postings, leaving you free to create awesome content that is less reactive.
You can always leave gaps in your calendar if you want to add more timely posts throughout the month.
When auditing your content, ask yourself, is it:
- Interesting? Does it offer a new approach or angle, or tell us something in a way that is exciting or with a new point of view?
- Informative? Does it offer helpful information or advice in an easily-digestible format?
- Relevant? Does your target audience care?
The best content taps into what is trending with reactive content and tells a story, like this example from Mercedes Benz USA commenting, real-time, on the Super Bowl this year.
To really grow your page and get real followers on Instagram, your aim will be to create content that gets people tagging and sharing. This will expand your reach, meaning new users are more likely to see your posts and follow you.
The types of content will vary drastically, but content that gets saved and shared are typically things like:
- Recipes or cooking tips
- Styling tips (clothing, interior design)
- Any other kind of helpful tip
- Hacks; often using items that most people already have in their home
- Beautiful inspirational images or quotes
- Useful articles
- Funny or relatable memes, puns or jokes
- How-to articles or videos
- Unknown or rare tips or advice
- Breaking or exclusive news
- Tapping into breaking news or trending topics in a fun, engaging way
- Behind the scenes content
- Exclusive content from or by celebrities or experts.
Try to think about what YOU or your business can offer in terms of content.
Keep trying and testing new content types, and eventually, you’ll be ready to get real followers on Instagram that won’t unfollow you because they love your fresh new content.
Tactic #3: Influencer marketing
Once you have your badass content and optimized profile, influencer marketing can be a great way to get free Instagram followers who are genuinely interested in your business.
Influencer marketing has grown over 5x in just 5 years, and the industry is expected to continue to grow.
But how? Influencer marketing isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Here are the 3 steps to consider when utilizing influencer marketing:
Defining your goals and objectives
In this scenario, it would be to get real Instagram followers.
Define your budget and research influencers
Next, define your budget and research influencers that may be relevant to your brand. When selecting influencers, spend time considering the following factors:
Is the influencer genuine?
Are they promoting multiple brands at once which have varying or conflicting brand values?
What is the influencer’s engagement rate?
Are the engagements on their posts genuine? Or are the same people commenting on their posts all the time?
Are they a skilled content creator?
How could they best help you? It might be helpful to look at their other sponsored posts (if they have done any). Have they appeared to match the brand voice and messaging, in their own way? Have they interpreted the brand product or messaging in a creative way?
What is their demographic?
If unsure, ask for their statistics on reach or their audience stats. Some female beauty influencers actually have a large male following, and some local influencers have enormous overseas followings which may not be relevant to your campaign goals.
What rates are they charging?
Cost benchmarks depend on a variety of factors, such as who the influencer is, if they have a high profile if they are a specialist or expert in their field, and so on, but generally, you should be looking at approximately $1,000 for a sponsored post with an influencer who has 100,000 followers.
Outline how they could help you to get real Instagram followers.
For instance, you might want to do a competition or giveaway with them in order to grow your following (more on this below), or perhaps you just want them to create some sponsored content and get people interested in your page.
Reach out to your influencers and coordinate briefs and contracts.
Unless you have an ongoing or existing relationship with your influencer, you’ll probably want them to sign a contract, especially for larger or more expensive influencer deals. You may have to negotiate with your influencers or influencer management agencies before you’re happy with an agreed cost.
Be clear and concise.
Make sure you give a very clear brief on what the campaign is trying to achieve, which is to get real followers on Instagram.
Monitor and record performance.
After your activity has gone live, monitor and record performance. Gather results and learnings for next time. Hopefully, you will have amassed lots of additional Instagram followers!
Tactic #4: Competitions
Competitions can be a very easy, quick way to get real followers on Instagram, however, we don’t recommend doing this unless you’re already posting quality content, otherwise users will just unfollow you straight after the competition period is over.
Your prize should also be relevant to your target audience, otherwise, if you’re giving away a generic prize such as movie tickets, cash or vouchers, you will get people entering your competition and users following your page who are NOT relevant.
It’s generally best to offer your own products or services as a prize, as you’ll get real followers on Instagram who are genuinely interested in your business, products or page.
To post a competition in order to get real Instagram followers, you can either:
- Post the competition on your own page
- Use your influencers to post a competition on their own page
- Post it on your own page AND ask your influencer/s to direct their followers to your page to enter the competition
Ask your audience to comment on the post and tag 2 or 3 friends in the comments in order to enter. Check the competition laws and regulations in your country if you’re unsure about how to run a competition.
Run the competition for at least 5 days to a week, or perhaps longer if you have a very large prize.
If the prize is enticing enough, you will have gained some free Instagram followers! Go, you!
Tactic #5: Genuine engagement and outreach
Engagement and outreach are crucial factors in growing your audience consistently and getting free Instagram followers; all it will cost you is time.
Do not underestimate the power of engagement. Engagement will grow your page more steadily than most other tactics and is a great way to get real Instagram followers, but you have to do it consistently.
Not only is it important to engage with users on YOUR pages, but you should engage with others on their own pages.
- Respond to ALL the comments and messages on your page, especially to those who are asking questions. This will give them a positive experience with you and/or your business, meaning they are far more likely to share your content in a positive way; provided your content is strong.
- Reach out to the people who are likely to follow your page by targeting people who are:
- Following your competitors
- Located in the area your business operates in/is relevant to you
- Liking or posting photos using hashtags related to your business or page
Like, follow and even comment on their posts if relevant, but always try to be as genuine as possible.
Whatever you do, DON’T write spammy comments or automate engagement; it will make your business look lazy, unprofessional and, most of all, ingenuine.
So, we hope you’re ready to work in order to get real followers on Instagram in 2019!
Remember; beware of services that offer Instagram followers. This could harm your hard-earned progress and even have your Instagram account blocked or shut down.
Genuine followers are the key to the long-term success of your organic content and your Instagram page. They have a high potential for conversion and to become loyal to your business.